Edward Lear, Syra, Greece.
Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil. Inscribed and dated lower left: Syra. Octr 4 1856, further inscribed with the artist’s colour notes. 301 by 500 mm.
Edward Lear travelled extensively throughout Greece in the 1850s and 1860s and his watercolours are an important visual record of a nation in a state of transition from the period of Ottoman rule to that of the country known today. This large, on-the-spot watercolour, was made on 4th October 1856 and shows the island of Syros in the Aegean Sea. Lear focuses on the town of Ano Syros, with its neo-classical buildings, old mansions, white houses and windmills, that cascade down to the harbour below.